/ 26 September 2008

Alleged sword killer’s case postponed

The case against a matric pupil who allegedly killed a fellow pupil with a sword was on Friday postponed for the second time in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court.

Prosecutor Anna Bendeman said a psychiatrist had made an arrangement with the state for a 30-day extension of Morne Harmse’s psychiatric evaluation.

Harmse (18) did not arrive at the court for this reason. He is expected to appear in the same court on October 24.

Harmse, brandishing a Samurai sword and wearing a mask, allegedly killed 16-year-old Jacques Pretorius, at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School on August 18. He also allegedly stabbed and injured another boy and two gardeners.

Jacques Pretorius’ family said that they were very disappointed at the postponement, adding that they should have been told that Harmse would be kept for evaluation for 60 days.

”Why did they not tell us he was going to be there for 60 days? We came here to see what was going to happen, to get closure,” said the victim’s aunt, Leonie Pretorius.

She said that they had lost a child, while the Harmse family still had their son and could look forward to a good life, even after his trial.

”We have lost a child, we will never get him back … it doesn’t matter what happens, because even if Harmse gets a 20-year sentence, he will be released and have a good life with his parents,” said Pretorius.

Pretorius also said the family wanted to make peace with what had happened, and that it was their wish to get the trial over with as quickly as possible.

Harmse was being examined by the superintendent of Sterkfontein Hospital, state-appointed psychiatrists from Johannesburg and a Dr Schutte from Krugersdorp, appointed by the accused. – Sapa